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Rev. Jesse Jackson: Son to return to Mayo Clinic 'soon'

Published: Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 8:41 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said his son, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., would not be returning Sunday to the Mayo Clinic but that his return would be “soon” and that while there, he will undergo a re-evaluation and seek to “regain his equilibrium.”

When asked whether his son would stand for re-election on Nov. 6, the father replied: “Well, that’s not the issue at this point. As a father, I want his health to be his No. 1 priority.”

Rep. Jackson, a South Side Democrat who began a medical leave June 10, was treated at a facility in Arizona before transferring to the Mayo Clinic in late July. He left the clinic in early September.

The reverend said his son had been seeing two doctors a day in Washington after he left Mayo and was focused on both on his health and “his passion to get back to work.”

The father also said the type of illness his son is confronting did not lend itself to an “artificial schedule.” “I hope people honor that,” added Jackson, who said he felt his son’s constituents have an appreciation of his son’s work during almost 17 years in Congress.

Earlier this month, Rep. Jackson was seen out drinking for two consecutive nights at a tavern near his Washington home in the DuPont Circle area.

Rev. Jackson, when asked whether the drinking interfered with his son’s recovery, said he had no comment. He also declined to elaborate on what ails his son, whose condition has been described variously as bipolar disorder and bipolar depression.

Saturday, constituents in his district received a series of automated telephone calls Saturday, asking them for patience.

The 85-second recorded message came as a source close to Jackson who was not authorized to speak publicly said the congressman was expected to return to the Mayo Clinic early this week.

In the message, the first residents of 2nd Congressional District have heard from their congressman since June, Jackson thanks them for their “many thoughts and prayers during this difficult time for me.”

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